Easter island, a new wonder for the world
Have you ever dreamt of going to paradise-like places, known around the world as destinations touched by a heavenly hand? Well, these breath-taking places are not all located at the other side of the world and you can find one of them in the middle of the Pacific Ocean: Easter Island.
Known as "the navel of the world", Easter Island was named by a dutch sailor, whom –in one of many travels- landed in the island’s territory on a Easter Sunday in 1722. Its name is Spanish, Isla de Pascua, is a direct translation of the name the island received in English.
Easter Island features beautiful beaches and dormant volcanoes, as well as the mystic presence of stone statues that can be found all over the island: the moais. There are over eight hundred statues made of stone, buried on the ground or found standing by the coastline, facing the sea, some with hats and defined torsos, although there is only one of them has eyes painted.
The charm of the island is mainly due to the millenary rock statues, which appear all over the territory, with no real certainty about who had them constructed, with what purpose or how the people were able to put them near the coast of Rapa Nui. The mystery concerning the moais and the beauty of all nearby landscapes turn Easter Island in a must-see destination for any traveler that calls him or herself one.
Easter Island is formed by volcanoes, which spring from the bottom of the ocean and give shape to Rapa Nui, as a triangle. There are 166 kilometers of land that feature green mountains, beaches, sacred places and paths to walk, all under the bluest sky above the Pacific Ocean.
It is not difficult to get to the island, because every major airline in the world includes trips to the area, even though some of them make a stop in Santiago de Chile. The island, however, survives thanks to tourism, so the access to it is available all year.
Once you’re in the island, options multiply themselves. Hotel and gastronomic infrastructure is varied and of great quality. There are international cuisine restaurants and, of course, those which offer typical food made with the best fish of the Pacific and the delicious vegetables grown in the island. At the same time, there are hotels and residencials, areas for camping and guest houses that ensure a safe and comfortable stay.
All settled? Then it’s time to see the island. Easter Island is not too big, so it is easy to cover all the territory by foot, car or on horseback. There are rental places for all these artifacts all over the island, and there are also guided tours to visit sacred places or, simply, the most interesting corners of the area.
The main attraction on the island is the Moais. These stone statues can be seen all over the Rapa Nui territory, but the most important spot is the Ahu, where you can see the seven moais by the coast, looking at the ocean. It is a sacred place, so it is recommended not to speak there and approach the scene with respect. Moais are millenary structures that are very fragile so they must be treated with extreme care.
Another place to visit is Anakena, the main beach on the island. It is a beautiful place, like no other, with turquoise water and white sand, an idea weather to sit back and relax while bathing in the warm water of the beach. It is on the northern side of the island, near Hanga Roa (the capital of the island), where you can surf or scuba dive.
The island keeps other secrets too, hidden. One of them is the beach near the Ahu Vaihu sector, a beach that hasn’t even been named and that is larger than Anakena. There are enourmous cliffs there, and due to the nature of the road is it recommended to walk to it.
Under the surface, Easter Island offers a unique sight. Away from the beaches and the wind of the Pacific, you can visit caves nearby Ana Kakenga. Getting into the ground and discovering the many mysteries lying there, walking down caves that are interconnected by natural tunnels, it is one of the many reasons why you should take the time and visit Easter Island, the navel of the world.
A new wonder
Easter Island is one of the twenty destinations in the run to become a new wonder of the world. Considering that the pyramid in Egypt are the only attraction still standing of the known wonders, the New Open World Foundation started a campaign at the end of 2006 to pick seven new wonders of the world.
Voting ends at the end of June, and you can cast your own vote for seven different destinations on new7wonders.com. The results will be announced on July 7th, in a ceremony to be hold in Portugal.
You still have time to vote for Easter Island, so get online and do it.
- 30, 1899, 00:00